Nine in ten healthcare workers have witnessed or directly experienced (or been in close proximity to) violence from a patient or a patient’s caregiver in the past month. Three in four have encountered both verbal and physical assaults in the month, and nearly half of workers needed to call for security or another coworker to assist.
Physical violence facing healthcare employees
Physical violence is most prevalent in hospitals and long-term care facilities, according to the survey. Hospital staff experience the most intense incidents of physical violence, but those in long-term care facilities experience them more frequently.
More than half of long-term care workers have been exposed to a physical assault in the last month, with 15% of those being serious enough to warrant a call for help. This compares with four in ten hospital workers experiencing a physical attack, with half of those requiring intervention from another party.
Workplace violence exposure by healthcare role
Nurses in hospitals are the most likely of all healthcare employees to be exposed to violence (physical or verbal) at work, with 96% experiencing an instance in the past month. The magnitude of incidents is also greater for this group: four in five hospital nurses have had to call a coworker or security because they feel unsafe — twice as many as workers in other roles.
After nurses, healthcare support workers, such as certified nursing assistants or other aides, are the most likely to encounter violence: 94% of this group has faced an assault in the past month.